Questions Raised From Arsenal’s Shocking Performance at Anfield


There’s no point reliving the horror moments of Arsenal’s shambolic outing on Saturday, but one must wonder how the Gunners are going to pick themselves up for what proves to be a crucial Premier League encounter against a stuttering Manchester United team. Even with the acquisition of Juan Mata, their fortunes haven’t changed for the better and I’m sure many Arsenals fans would be hoping that their team gets maximum points on Wednesday.

In the wake of Arsenal’s shameful defeat to Liverpool, some questions have been raised from a faction of the Arsenal faithful and they are worth sharing in today’s post.

Did Arsene Wenger Get it Wrong With his Team Selection?

Arsene Wenger has always been lauded for getting things right with his starting XI but one must wonder if he made a few errors in his selection on Saturday. I and many Arsenal fans out there would always rate Kieran Gibbs over Nacho Monreal but I could give Wenger the benefit of the doubt here because Gibbs’ fitness has been a concern in recent times.


Monreal had a putrid outing

I also feel that Tomas Rosicky should have featured from the start ahead of the Ox on the right, as he has been used to devastating effect in most of our “big games” this season. He came on for a poor Mesut Ozil but under the circumstances he failed to have any influence on the game whatsoever.

I just hope that Wenger would do better in his selection for the Manchester United game.

Where Was the Influence from the Midfield?

When Liverpool visited Arsenal at the Emirates, the game was won in the midfield and Aaron Ramsey reigned supreme on the night. With the Welsh Dragon still out injured, Arsenal started the game with Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere in the heart of the middle while Mesut Ozil played as the creative hub of the team with the Ox and Santi Cazorla cutting in from the flanks.

With Mathieu Flamini still suspended, it was painful seeing Arteta run ragged by the likes of Jordan Henderson and the legendary Steven Gerrard. Wilshere tried to make a couple of his trademark lung-bursting runs to no avail. The wingers didn’t even help the team’s cause but the Ox did well to win a penalty for his side that was converted by Arteta.

Is it Time to Send Mesut Ozil to the Bench Due to his Poor Run of Form?

According to Gooner of Steel, Ozil made no attempts at goal, made 4 unsuccessful crosses and made no through ball. For a creative player of Ozil’s caliber, that was quite poor. He was also guilty of losing the ball for the 3rd and 4th goal and when you compare both (Carzola and Ozil) performances against other big games this season, it is not quite good.


Ozil has been playing within himself recently and he could do with a goal or two to bring his confidence back. There’s no better game to win the hearts of the fans back with a goal against the old enemy, Manchester United. I don’t think Ozil deserves to be benched though, he’s one of the best players in the club and you would need your best players to step up and be counted.

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Why did the Defense Capitulate with Consummate Ease?

Arsenal’s defense has been the envy of the Premier League this season with 11 clean sheets to their name and there was also the long-standing record of the team never losing with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny playing together. On a day where nothing seemed to go right for the Gunners, they were duly punished by a rampant Liverpool attack.

13/14: Liverpool v Arsenal - Wojciech Szczesny

Koscielny didn’t mark Martin Skrtel well for his headed goal and he was exposed again when Coutinho’s pass tore the defense to allow Daniel Sturridge place the fourth goal home. Mertesacker’s lack of pace was exposed for the first time in a long while and his performance was nothing to write home about.

The Mertesienly defensive axis will have to do better against Manchester United.

How Would the Gunners Respond to Such a Demoralizing Defeat?

Instead of feeling sorry for yourselves or the players, it is time to get behind the team, with 13 games to go in the league season. Arsenal have responded well to defeats this season. We won 8 and drew 1 game in a row after the opening day loss to Aston Villa. After the loss at Old Trafford, we won 3 and drew 1, and after the 6-3 drubbing at the Etihad, we have won 6 and drawn 2. – Blazing Cannons

Arsenal’s responses to defeats this season have been encouraging and I expect a more cohesive and refined performance against a shaky Manchester United side.

Do you have more questions on the performance? Feel free to share them with your comments.


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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on February 10, 2014, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Malaysian gunner

    Everyone is saying Arsenal must beat MU.It’s easier said than done.If Arsenal aint careful they could be 2 goals down by halftime.Players must track back to help the defence.Rooney helped to prevent a cross from the right to a waiting Fulham player.
    Football is a team game. Arsenal really missed Flamini. We need more of these players.Btw,I believe the obscene number of passes made before a shot is made is the root cause of all this. Other teams dont have a passing frenzy. If there is gap shoot and don’t wait for the killer pass.
    I don’t know but until this changes ,Wenger is making the gunners predictable and the job of defenders much easier. If this season ends in heart break,I believe many fans will ask for FM’s head.Assuming it happens,the board need not appoint anyone recommended bythe Fm. We need another guy who need not follow the FM’s pattern weaving soccer which leads to a cul de sac.

  2. On the team selection, Gibb is not fully fit as you rightly said since he was drooped against Napoli in the 2nd leg of our champs league but I expect him to start against Man U. In the midfield I expect the trio of Arteta, Wilshere/Ox, Rosicky because we need a defensive minded MF. Gnabry, Rosicky and Giroud should start.
    Ozil should be dropped, and for Cazorla, I’m short of words. His horrible performance is not just starting, It started last season, just take a look at our last 10games of that season and you’ll see. 3points against Man U is a must.

  3. Come on Arsenal!!

  4. girroud shod never start in big games better for wenger to start podolski or even bendter

  5. Assuming there are no new injuries and Gibbs fit enough before the Manure game, I would expect the following set up
    1. Replace Monreal with Gibbs & leave rest of the three defenders unchanged.
    2. In the defensive midfield, I would put Arteta & the OX
    3. Put Rosicky on the right wing, Carzola on the left wing & Ozil in the creative hub
    4. Of course retain Giroud upfront.
    5. On the bench you have Wilshire (who can always come in later in the game), Gnabry, Podosky, Fanbianski & the rest

    That line up should be enough to get three points on Wednesday

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